Specialized Information for:

Long-Term Care ConsumersFamily MembersAdvocates

News Article

Back to News Listing

New Report Details Lack of Adequate Staffing Standards in Nursing Homes

December 07, 2021

Chronic understaffing has been a serious problem in nursing homes for decades and has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The research is clear that inadequate staffing contributes to lower quality of care and poor health outcomes for residents. Twenty years after a study by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services found that at least 4.1 hours per resident day of direct care nursing staff time are needed just to prevent poor outcomes, state staffing requirements, with a few exceptions, are nowhere near that recommended level.

Despite what is known about the relationship between staffing levels and quality care, no federal staffing standard exists, and staffing standards in almost every state remain severely low.

A new report by Consumer Voice documents staffing standards in each state, analyzing the contrast to research-based standards recommended by medical and healthcare professionals to ensure quality of care.

Key findings:

  • With one exception - the District of Columbia - state standards for total nursing staff time fall short of research-backed recommended staffing standards.
  • 29 states have minimum requirements that are significantly lower than research-based recommended staffing standards; two states - Montana and Arizona - require less than 2 hours per resident day.
  • Only six states require a RN 24/7 at all facilities.

See the report summary and full report for detailed findings.

Find more information on our webpage.

Briefing to Address Need for Federal Staffing Standards in Nursing Homes

Consumer Voice, with a panel of experts, held a briefing reviewing the research and data supporting the need for a federal minimum staffing standard and an overview of the new report and its findings. Watch the recording.

Consumer Voice also released a press release about the report.


Back to News Listing